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Main page » Coursebooks » Acts Of God - The Unnatural History Of Natural Disaster In America


Acts Of God - The Unnatural History Of Natural Disaster In America

 
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The ten most costly catastrophes in U.S. history have all been natural disasters--seven of them hurricanes--and all have occurred since 1989, a period, ironically, that Congress has dubbed the Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. Ted Steinberg, professor of history and law at Case Western Reserve University, looks at how much of the death and destruction has been well within the realm of human control. Surveying more than a century of losses from weather and seismic extremes, he exposes the fallacy of seeing such calamities as simply random events.
Acts of God explores the unnatural history of natural calamity, the decisions of business leaders and government officials that have paved the way for the greater losses of life and property, especially among those least able to withstand such blows--America's poor, elderly and minorities. Seeing nature or God as the primary culprit, Steinberg argues, has helped to obscure the fact that, in truth, some Americans are better protected from violence of nature than their counterparts lower down the socioeconomic ladder. Donald Worster, the author of Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s, says, "This compelling book blows away many obscuring clouds of misunderstanding and denial in our national environmental memory."

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Tags: history, Natural, Disaster, losses, Unnatural